This Popular Bottled Water Contains High Levels of Arsenic, New Report Finds
This just in: A popular brand of bottled water manufactured by Whole Foods and sold in-stores and on Amazon contains higher-than-average levels of arsenic.
Consumer Reports recently ran tests on 45 water bottle brands and Starkey Spring Water, which has been sold at Whole Foods for five years now, had concerning levels of the toxic metal—specifically, three times the amount of any other brand tested.
The brand still falls just beneath the maximum limit of 10 parts per billion (PPB), with samples ranging between 9.49 and 9.56 PPB, however, CR believes that level is much too high, The Guardian reports. This isn't the first time Starkey has been called out for having too high of arsenic levels. In fact, in 2019 one of the brand's samples clocked in at 10.1 PPB, exceeding the federal limit.
James Dickerson, Ph.D., CR's chief scientific officer says that drinking one bottle of Starkey is unlikely to harm you, "but regular consumption of even small amounts of the heavy metal over extended periods increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and lower IQ scores in children, and poses other health issues as well," he said in an article with CR. (Related: Here's What Happens To Your Body If You Drink Seltzer Every Day)
These findings spotlight inconsistencies with water regulation in the U.S. Think about it this way: Some people prefer to buy bottled water over drinking tap water because it's typically safer. With Starkey, the brand is filling water into bottles that would be illegal (in some states) for it to come out of the sink faucet.
Remember, federal regulations for bottled water, enforced by the FDA, say the heavy metal limit is 10 PPB but in New Jersey and New Hampshire, tap water must not exceed levels of 5 PPB. So while Starkey hasn't done anything illegal by the FDA's standards, CR is trying to advocate for the administration to drop the federal limit to 3 PPB, which is a much safer level, especially for children who are at high risk of adverse complications to arsenic.
The FDA also hasn't updated the heavy metal limit in 15 years so an update is necessary to stay consistent with public health goals. To keep yourself informed on the latest food news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter to get updates.